Current through the 2023 Legislative Session.
Section 17 - Felony; misdemeanor; infraction(a) A felony is a crime that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in the state prison, or, notwithstanding any other law, by imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions.(b) When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail, it is a misdemeanor for all purposes under the following circumstances: (1) After a judgment imposing a punishment other than imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170.(2) When the court, upon committing the defendant to the Division of Juvenile Justice, designates the offense to be a misdemeanor.(3) When the court grants probation to a defendant and at the time of granting probation, or on application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.(4) When the prosecuting attorney files in a court having jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses a complaint specifying that the offense is a misdemeanor, unless the defendant at the time of arraignment or plea objects to the offense being made a misdemeanor, in which event the complaint shall be amended to charge the felony and the case shall proceed on the felony complaint.(5) When, at or before the preliminary examination or prior to filing an order pursuant to Section 872, the magistrate determines that the offense is a misdemeanor, in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on a misdemeanor complaint.(c) When a defendant is committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice for a crime punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, the offense shall, upon the discharge of the defendant from the Division of Juvenile Justice, thereafter be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes.(d) A violation of any code section listed in Section 19.8 is an infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and 19.7 in either of the following cases:(1) The prosecutor files a complaint charging the offense as an infraction unless the defendant, at the time they are arraigned, after being informed of their rights, elects to have the case proceed as a misdemeanor.(2) The court, with the consent of the defendant, determines that the offense is an infraction, in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on an infraction complaint.(e) This section does not authorize a judge to relieve a defendant of the duty to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 if the defendant is charged with an offense for which registration as a sex offender is required pursuant to Section 290, and for which the trier of fact has found the defendant guilty.(f) When the court exercises its discretion under this section, an unfulfilled order of restitution or a restitution fine shall not be grounds for denial of a request or application for reduction.Amended by Stats 2022 ch 734 (SB 1106),s 2, eff. 1/1/2023.Amended by Stats 2018 ch 18 (AB 1941),s 1, eff. 1/1/2019.Amended by Stats 2011 ch 12 (AB X1-17),s 6, eff. 9/20/2011, op. 10/1/2011.Amended by Stats 2011 ch 39 (AB 117),s 68, eff. 6/30/2011.Amended by Stats 2011 ch 15 (AB 109),s 228, eff. 4/4/2011, but operative no earlier than October 1, 2011, and only upon creation of a community corrections grant program to assist in implementing this act and upon an appropriation to fund the grant program.